August 16, 2023
Fresh off the back of his second album, Errare Humanum Est.
Colombian producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ, Felipe Gordon, has developed a distinct, conceptual sound from his marriage of house, jazz and acid motifs. Fresh off releasing his second album, Errare Humanum Est, on his recently launched label Wide Awake, Gordon joins us for a special guest vinyl mix of jazz-influenced organic house that traverses Latin, Colombian, and Afro-electronic music.
We caught up with Gordon to discuss his vinyl collecting habits, his love of emotive house music and his selections for the mix.
When did you start collecting records?
I started collecting about seven years ago when I first bought one of my all-time favourite albums, Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. Then the domino effect started and I bought all these albums I only had in my digital collection. Then it just became a habit.
What do you love about vinyl?
I love having a piece of musical history. I love that I can fully understand who did what on the recording, the year of the edition, where it was produced, and what gear was used. Sometimes you can see photos of the sessions. It’s about owning a small piece of one of your favourite musical works and being able to listen to it and save it as an archive of a moment in your life.
How and where do you discover new records?
To be honest, I’m all about looking for stuff that I have had my eyes on for months or weeks. For instance, I just got back from a summer tour, and was looking for Electrelane’s The Power Out and could find a copy in Germany. I often listen to new and unreleased music rather than crate-digging for old releases. I love new bands and how they keep pushing the boundaries of every genre.
How would you describe the mix?
The mix is a showcase of what I usually will do in my DJ sets while I’m touring. I love to go from one side of the globe to another (musically speaking) through my music, and my albums have a pretty recognisable sound. When I’m DJing, I play as much music from all around the world as possible, all covered under the house music umbrella, of course. There’s always Brazilian music, African music, Latin music, jazz, deep Detroit music, Asian music, and Colombian music. There’s a ton of stuff that comes out daily and I try to keep my sets interesting rather than just playing 4/4 club music. I feel that those would be some lame and boring DJ sets.
Where does your interest in deep, jazzy, organic house beats stem from?
When I first started to write house music, I felt instantly attracted to the more melancholic and deeper sound. It feels a lot more like a proper song, you know? It’s expressing something. Also, the jazz influence allows the musicians and producers to sort of express much more through the instrument interpretation. I didn’t grow up listening to electronic music or dreaming of becoming a DJ, so my encounters with what has influenced me musically over the last few years were through feeling and interpretation, rather than the desire for becoming a DJ or to go to parties.
I feel that this sound is constantly evolving due to the people making it, who are trying to create something new and expressive. If you check the evolution of the genre, you will see great albums like Larry Heard’s Sceneries Not Songs, Volume One or Moodymann’s Forevernevermore or Theo’s First Floor.
You can find realness and a conceptual search on these releases. I feel there’s a big emotional/feeling difference between the genre and some other more club-influenced electronic music.
Where did you start when putting the track list together? What was the thought process?
I was just back home after the tour and had all these new songs from all over the world, and it felt right to start putting together the mix for you guys. The process of recording mixes is like solving a puzzle in a fun way. It’s like, ‘Where should I include this amazing Brazilian song?’. Will it work after the old-school funk piece? There’s always a big hunt for the intro and outro tracks. It should be smooth, it should direct you straight to a feel-fuelled journey and leave you feeling inspired!
Listen to the mix in the player above, view the tracklist below, and read on for some more handpicked selections from Gordon himself.
Atjazz – Enchantment
Glenn Underground – Forgotten Art
Dan Kye – Actually
Moar – LL
Dan Tenor-City & Tom Funk – Close To The Source (featuring Ricoh)
Brandy – Full Moon (Sol Power All-Stars Remix)
RSL – The Mast (Dave Hernandez Mix)
Demarkus Lewis – Get Back Here
Frits Wentink – Intentions
Felipe Gordon (Wide Awake) – Departing
Secret Soul Society – The Island
I just released my second album and wanted to include one of the tracks on the mix. This is the 3rd track on the vinyl version of the album, and I feel it fits quite well after the Frits Wentink track. It’s one of the tracks that has my signature sound on it. I enjoy the B section when the chords change, and the strings open the song and give it more feeling.
Strictly Jaz Unit Muzic
Man, you can just never go wrong with Glenn, can you? This track, like many others by Glenn Underground, has all the right ingredients. It’s just a vibing and dynamic song. It has this driving kind of semi-Latin / Afro drum pattern going on, and then the signature Glenn solo and different melodies. The second part or b section of the track with those brass stabs–it’s just magical.
I was listening to some records in a store in Berlin, and this one was in the bunch. What a discovery!
It’s the perfect opener to set the mood. I love playing a super mellow and interesting track at the beginning of my recorded sets. I admire the way Atjazz produces. It always sounds crispy and super deep. He’s a don! This track is just the perfect combination of jazz and deep house, right up my alley!
It must be something about the horns, the piano chords and the driving bassline that gets me every time. Super basic and effective drum pattern, too. It’s just a great track for setting the mood. I discovered it from that Karizma compilation, which is pure gold.
Wolf Music Recordings
To be honest, Frits is my favourite producer of “my generation”. He’s always different from the rest. He sounds unique in so many ways, from the way he processes his piano sounds to his DIY modular system. It’s just great, it’s wobbly, but it also has this melancholic and deep vibe which I love. Also, he has this thing with ’90s and 2000s R&B vocals, which fit perfectly with his way of writing music.
All the elements are perfect, you can sort of close your eyes but keep this driving feeling. I love the syncopated snares, sort of replying to the rest of the drum pattern. The piano chords sit perfectly and set the aura of the track, again super melancholic, but with this inner funk that is just perfect.
Secret Soul Society
Hell Yeah! Recordings
The closing track is as important as the opener. This one just closes the set perfectly. It feels like a Caribou track and it’s just super cool. The vocals are great, but the repetitive chimes sample makes you feel ok about life, haha! I feel this would fit perfectly on a Daphni set. It’s just a mellow track.